Boosting cybersecurity

– consultation for development of National Cybersecurity Strategy begins

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Guyana, as a rapidly developing state, must be cybersecurity ready said Cybersecurity Manager of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), Muriana McPherson.

McPherson was addressing the first in a series of stakeholder consultations on the development of a National Cybersecurity Strategy. The participants were drawn from various ministries and government agencies. The consultation was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) and facilitated by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

McPherson said Guyana is becoming an electronic state and has already experienced several cyber-attacks. She stressed that the matter needs to be addressed at the national level given that Guyana has been ranked as the fastest-growing economy in the world.

Even with the legislation in place, she pointed out that no stone should be left unturned in formulating the strategy. Critical in this effort, according to McPherson, is the collaboration with local and international agencies.

“As we endeavour to modernise and improve the delivery of public service, it is necessary that all electronic initiatives are implemented in a secure manner to win the confidence of citizens, business, local and international partners. This cannot be achieved by one ministry, agency, company or individual. We need to leverage the knowledge, skills, experience existing across all stakeholders,” she underscored.

According to McPherson, the technical working group established, prior to the consultation along with the Organisation of American States (OAS), will be instrumental in developing the first draft for the cybersecurity strategy.

“This strategy is of paramount importance to guide the implementation of appropriate technologies, tactics and practices that will foster confidence both locally and internationally in the use of locally provided e-services and interconnectivity with local organisations and entities,” she stated.

Over the next few months, the consultation will benefit from the assistance of OAS’s Program Officer Kerry-Ann Barrett. Barrett said the focus of the strategy needs to be long term and not a quick fix. She also advised that the strategy be nation oriented and not politically aligned.

Images Ameer Sattaur & Shevin Boodhoo